What you need to know as the victim of a hit and run

A 17-year-old pedestrian who was recently hit by a speeding vehicle has been in the news lately. The young Severn resident was walking home from a party when a speeding silver vehicle—which may have contained attendees of the same party—hit the adolescent and promptly sped away. The victim was hospitalized with injuries that police describe as life threatening.

This tragic case is a sobering reminder of a crime that happens all too frequently in our country. If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident, what is your recourse?

Immediate action

While you’re still at the scene of the crime, be sure to:

  • Look for any witnesses. Ask them to recount to you what they saw, and jot down their name and contact details.
  • Call 9-1-1, and file a police report.
  • Record the date, time, and location of the crime.
  • Take pictures of anything that supports your case. If you were driving at the time of the accident, photograph damage to your car from multiple angles. If you were injured, take pictures of any visible wounds.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

Follow-up action

Once you’ve completed the above actions, follow these steps:

  • If you (or a witness) can identify the driver who hit you, try to get their insurance information, and file a third-party claim.
  • If you can’t locate the driver, file a claim with your own insurance company.
  • In either case, consider speaking to a personal injury attorney for further guidance.

Penalties

According to Maryland law, the severity of the hit and run determines the penalty. Accidents causing only damage to property are classified as misdemeanors, while accidents that cause another person serious bodily harm are felonies. In the latter case, the offender could face as much as five years in prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines.

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Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne is an accomplished lawyer who practices in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He brings more than 30 years of experience and a long record of success to each case. His law practice is distinguished by careful preparation and thorough analysis of each case...

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